Being a good financial coach is about so much more than just having the right credentials or a deep understanding of money management. It’s about being on a constant journey of learning and growth, right alongside your clients.

Think about it – every client is unique, with their own set of challenges, goals, and experiences. As a coach, it’s our job to meet them where they are and offer the guidance and support they need to reach their full financial potential. And to do that effectively, we need to have a well-stocked toolbox of coaching techniques and strategies.

That’s why I’m so excited to dive into Part 2 of our series on proven coaching techniques!

Be sure to tune into episode 69, where we started this discussion.

OSKAR Coaching Model

OSKAR stands for Outcome or Objective, Scale, Know-how, Affirm + Action and Review. It’s a solution-focused model where you want to focus on a particular outcome, not the problem. Instead of focusing on issues, you focus on actionable solutions.

OSCAR Coaching Model

Similarly, the OSCAR model stands for Outcome or Objective, Situation, Choices and Consequences, Actions and Review. The difference with this model is that it emphasizes the stage of making choices from the available options.

Some of these are really quite similar in their framework but with slight variations. For example, the CLEAR model (last episode) focuses heavily on the learning experience and elicits self-awareness, whereas OSCAR (with a C) focuses more on the choices and actions element.

ACHIEVE Coaching Model

The ACHIEVE model is the one I think describes my approach the best. It’s a 7-step process that is built off the GROW model, which if you recall from last episode is the most common approach coaches use when they first start coaching. The 7 steps of ACHIEVE are:

1. Assess the current situation
2. Creative brainstorming of alternatives
3. Establish goals
4. Initiate options
5. Evaluate options
6. Design a valid action plan
7. Encourage momentum

It provides more flexibility to situations and is all about option exploration and brainstorming to come up with creative solutions, which is totally my jam.

Some thoughts on this model… When it comes to money, it’s often seen as a black-and-white thing. There’s one right way to do something and it works for everyone. It doesn’t leave room for creative brainstorming, considering alternatives and evaluating a variety of options.

There’s more than one way to budget. There’s more than one strategy for getting out of debt. There’s more than one solution to any problem and the ACHIEVE coaching model helps to capture that essence, which is simply a better approach to financial coaching for me personally.

You can see this model in action by listening to episodes 22 and 23 because it’s the foundation for my debt payoff concepts.

FUEL Coaching Model

The FUEL coaching model stands for Frame the conversation, Understand the current state, Explore the desired state and Lay out a successful plan.

This model works great for instances where a client needs to feel in control or wants to have a lot of input regarding the situation, solution and action steps.

If you have a client who tends to balk at an idea and it seems like they balk at it simply because they didn’t come up with it… (my son, Lord this is my son… it has to be HIS idea!) then the FUEL Model is a solid approach for introducing a course of action.

High/Low Matrix (also known as Skill/Will Matrix)

This is less of a coaching concept I do with a client and more of a tool I use when thinking about a client and how best to help them. The Skill/Will Matrix helps you think through, do my clients need more information about this topic or do they know enough but need help with motivation or willpower to do something about it?

For most of our clients who come to us, they do not have a motivation issue, they simply lack the know-how, strategy or skill set to make things better. But this awareness came from me understanding the Skill/Will Matrix.

Conscious Competence Model

This model is also called the Conscious Competence Matrix, the Learning Matrix and the 4 Stages of Learning.

This model helps you develop awareness of your skill level but it’s even more than that. When we learn new skills, we experience different emotions at different stages of the learning process. So do our clients. Understanding this journey, and helping our clients to understand it, helps to manage the emotional ups and downs of learning.

Because clients are likely to feel one way early on in their learning compared to later and based on where they are in their journey, this helps you to meet them where they’re at.

I explored this model more in depth in Episode 27 of this podcast so go take a listen. I broke this model down in that episode.

Zone of Exploration Coaching Tool

This is a framework for designing your question bank, helping you to design questions based on 8 Zones of Exploration – Beginnings, Challenges, Assumptions (explore beliefs), Impact of Challenge, Familiarity, Obstacles, Strengths, New Behaviors.

In the Financial Coach Academy® there’s a PDF with a list of effective questions but it’s not just a general list, the questions are broken into situations or categories. I created that handout based on the Zone of Exploration model.

The idea is that some questions are better suited for certain situations so that’s exactly what that handout and resource in FCA sets out to accomplish. You simply print it and have it on your desk so when you’re in those situations, you’ve got a list of questions to pull from.

Obstacle Analysis Grid

The Obstacle Analysis Grid is used to help the client understand what is holding them back and how they can tackle the obstacles.

So instead of asking a broad question such as “what’s holding you back?”, there are 9 areas to think through to help focus that larger question. The 9 areas of obstacles are information, skill, belief, wellbeing, other people, motivation, time, money and fear.

I love this model because newer coaches tend to assume a person isn’t moving forward because of a lack of motivation. In other words, motivation is seen as the obstacle. And sometimes it is, sure. But oftentimes, the obstacle is that the client doesn’t know what to do or they don’t believe they’re capable, they’re too tired or stressed, someone else will stand in their way, they can’t afford it or they can’t imagine doing it.

Drama Triangle

This is a concept from Transactional Analysis – another technique I mentioned in the previous episode. It explains how people can get drawn into unhealthy and unhelpful patterns of behaviors.

The idea is we play different roles: Victim – Rescuer – Persecutor (Villain), and you’ll see these come up when clients explain or tell the story about why they made a particular financial decision. This model helps to bring awareness to what drama looks like and gives steps to remove yourself from it.

The concept I designed where we help clients design their own financial decision making framework and assessment was built to counteract the Drama Triangle roles.

Content Free Coaching Model

The Content Free model is one that outlines specific questions to ask to help you gather information. This is used when you don’t know anything, where do you start? How do you gather the most relevant information from someone to be able to help them?

It’s a helpful model if you find you are getting into a person’s story too much or going down the rabbit hole in one area of their situation but missing a piece of information in another area that’s very relevant. Or if you’re just starting out and you’re not sure WHAT to ask or WHAT you need to know and you’re starting with nothing, this gives you a framework to follow.

This model consists of 16 questions and our entire prep work that we designed for my coaching company, that I give you in the Academy® and that I reviewed in detail in our Ultimate Growth Guide is built around the Content Free Coaching Model.

VAK Model

I’m guessing you’ve already heard of the VAK model. This model suggests that every student can be classified primarily as a Visual (V), Auditory (A) or Kinesthetic (K) learner.

In FCA, there’s an entire lesson built around this model where I share different ways you can make a financial concept you want to talk with a client about, and help it to meet all 3 criteria – that way you’re satisfying every clients’ ideal style of learning.

All too often financial coaches use spreadsheets as a means of making a concept visual for a client but there are some major flaws in doing this so it’s important to understand the VAK model and how it applies to our work as financial coaches.

SBI Feedback Model

SBI stands for: Situation-Behavior-Impact Feedback and this tool helps to focus your comments and responses on specific situations and behaviors and then outline the impact these behaviors are having on the client.

A really important model for understanding how to help a client course-correct when their actions aren’t in alignment with the goals they shared.

So many of the concepts inside of the Building Long-Lasting Habits and Smarter Decision-Making Toolkit are built around the SBI feedback model. This is the Toolkit where we tackle things like impulsivity, delayed gratification, overspending, spending triggers and temptations, all examples of concepts where you probably have to give feedback based on current habits and this model helps you to do that in a productive and healthy way.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)

NLP is a set of techniques based on the idea that our thoughts, language and behaviors are all connected and by changing one of these elements, we can change the others. It’s similar to the bodies of work I mentioned at the start of Episode 69 where it’s less of a specific model or method and more a set of techniques.

I saved this one for last though because I have some disclaimers.

When you explore this topic, this is the one you are most likely to see “this is the best” and “everyone should know this” and “this is perfect for everyone and everything.”

NLP is useful, just like every one of these methods I shared, no more and no less. But in some circles there tends to be an air of superiority surrounding NLP. Not always, but sometimes.

Like every concept I shared with you over these episodes, I want to encourage you to also search “criticisms of _____” because there are a lot for NLP.

Please be extra cautious when searching this one. It’s quite controversial. I am not saying it’s not valuable, like every one of these techniques, there are pros and cons, benefits and shortcomings. But when it comes to NLP, more than so many of these others, you are likely to see more claims of how perfect it is than any other technique I shared in these two episodes.

And there seems to be one pop up certification after another for this. So please use caution. In fact, when exploring this one, use the google search “dark side of NLP” and make sure you’re getting a well-rounded set of inputs so you can be discerning in your approach to your coaching when using NLP.

Wrapping Up Part 2

I have a slight fear that I might be overwhelming you and that’s the opposite of what I want. You don’t have to use all of these tomorrow in your sessions. You don’t have to know all of these to launch and start helping people.

I gave you the cheat sheet so you can have more clear direction in your approach to learning and growing as a coach. Have fun with this, please. Allow yourself to go down rabbit holes and think about conversations you’ve had with clients already, or perhaps situations from your own life where these models may have been helpful.